Ninth studio album from award winning composer, DJ, social commentator and national treasure.
It seems there's not much Nitin Sawhney can't do. And what he does do, he does very well. Never one to shy away from big themes, for his latest studio album he subtly explores the prejudice and embittered viewpoint of fictional character Donald Meaning via 11 songs interspersed with spoken word passages from Meaning, expertly played by Sawhney's friend, the actor John Hurt. (The pair met as a result of Hurt narrating for Human Planet, the BBC series scored by Sawhney).
The music ranges from the bluesy soul of “The Devil And Midnight”, complete with vocal from Yolanda Quartey to the sadly reflective “I'm Done” featuring Hannah Peel. It's the raga influenced music featuring Indian instrumentation where the album truly shines, as on the virtuoso sitar and groove of “Kite” and the mournful flute of “Daydream”.
Meaning is presented as a fully rounded person, embittered though not without likeability and redeeming characteristics. It's a timely and much needed reminder that understanding and common human ground is an area we need to explore rather than blaming scapegoats. A fine and thoughtful album, sadly in danger in being drowned out by rhetoric from all points on the political spectrum.
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